Queer Eye, the Netflix makeover show we all know and love, turned in their USA adventures for one in Japan.

Hitting the streets of Tokyo and beyond, the Fab Five learned all about Japanese culture and fashion in this marvellous four-part series. Not only were the Queer Eye heroes learning from them, the Fab Five took away lessons from Japan that they’ll cherish forever.

But, as all of the heroes were from Japan, language was inevitably going to be a barrier.

So, how did the translation work on the show? We found out that it’s all about some sneaky editing. Find out how they did it here!


Screenshot: Queer Eye We’re in Japan! – Netflix

Queer Eye in Japan

The new spin-off season of Queer Eye hit Netflix on Friday, November 1st. All four episodes dropped to the streaming site worldwide on that date.

This season introduces fans to an unofficial sixth member of the Fab Five, in the form of Japanese-American superstar, Kiko Mizuhara. Celebrity guests such as Naomi Watanabe also are featured on the show.


Four heroes were featured. They include hospice worker Yoko-San, Beyonce superfan Kan, manga artist Kae and music lover Makoto.

  • STAR OF THE SHOW: Kiko Mizuhara’s parents and family life explored – Queer Eye Japan’s star tour guide!

How did they do the translation?

In an interview with USA Today, Karamo Brown told them that they had a translator while filming.

Not many details were relayed about how the translator worked during the series but clearly they were edited out of the final cut. This is so the episodes wouldn’t be twice as long as they usually were. Their interpreter on set was a woman called Lena.

When the Fab Five spoke to the Japanese heroes, their family and friends, as well as the guests, the translators worked between them.

  • A WHOLE NEW MAN: Queer Eye Japan: Makoto’s life is completely transformed – see him on Insta now!

Human connection

Karamo continued in the USA Today interview to say that having a translator was the not the only reason he was able to successfully communicate. He said:

Luckily, with my skills, I was able to read body language. I was really able to connect, and you could see the emotional breakthrough that people were having.

Bobby Berk also said that the connection ran much deeper by having a translator. Speaking to Strahan, Sara and Keke on their talk show back in October 2019, Bobby said: “While we were waiting there for translation, we would just be staring into each others’ eyes. And we found that we made an even deeper connection by just saying nothing.”